Eisman will clear out his desk by June 30. Read more »
This year’s conference will not include David Tepper’s balls but the show must go on. Scheduled speakers, in order of appearance: Erez Kalir, Dinakar Singh, Jeff Aronson, Robert Howard, Phil Falcone, Jim Chanos, winner of the inaugural Ira Sohn investment contest, Steve Feinberg, Peter May, Steve Esiman, Jeff Gundlach, Marc Faber, Bill Ackman, Joel Greenblatt, Mark Hart III, David Einhorn, Eike Batista, Carl Icahn.
12:20 Speaker 1: Erez Kalir, founder and CEO of Sabretooth Capital, presenting: “Economic Death As A Special Situation”
12:21 The last time he spoke in front of this many people “was at my bar mitzvah”
12:22 You don’t have to make money the Warren Buffett way.
12:25 Holding MBIA stock is “favorably asymmetric” Read more »
Hedge Fund Manager/Big Short Character Sues Michael Lewis, Steve Eisman For Making Him Look Like A Guy Investors Might Want To Think Twice AboutBy Bess Levin
Wing Chau, a manager of collateralized debt obligations, according to a complaint filed Feb. 25 in Manhattan federal court, claims the book unfairly casts him as one of the “villains” responsible for the 2008 financial collapse. The book “depicts Mr. Chau as someone who ignored his professional responsibilities, made misrepresentations to investors, charged money for work that was not performed, had no stake in the CDOs he managed, was incompetent or reckless in carrying out his responsibilities, and violated his fiduciary duties by putting the interests of ‘Wall Street bond trading desks’ above those of his investors,” according to the complaint…Steve Eisman is described in the complaint as “one of the principal sources Lewis relied on in writing ‘The Big Short.’” [Bloomberg]
Last Friday, hours after a report in the Wall Street Journal claimed FrontPoint’s Steve Eisman was weighing leaving the firm, Eisman put out a statement saying that by “I want to have more control over my destiny” he simply meant “I am in discussions on a structure which will provide me with greater operational flexibility and control over my own business” and that he and Eisman are two souls, one body “now.” And by now he might literally right now, this second. Next week, month, year is anyone’s guess, with sources saying Eisman “will exit before year-end.” But don’t hang those heads too low, FrontPointers. Steve did throw the firm and its investors this (sad trom)bone. Read more »
Steve Eisman To Threaten Proxy Battles Over The Phone From His Perch At FrontPoint For Years To ComeBy Bess Levin
Earlier today, it was suggested that Steve Eisman was “weighing” leaving FrontPoint Partners, after he told the Journal, “At this point in my career, I want to have more control over my destiny.” Apparently the speculation was way off base, forcing Steve-o to clarify his statement. Read more »
If you’re going to commit financial fraud, you probably don’t want to find yourself sitting at a table across from David Einhorn, who will know what you’re up to and share it with the world. Similarly, if you’ve never played poker and have only ever had a 15 minute tutorial on the game, you probably should avoid playing with the Greenlight Capital founder, whose vastly superior skills will demonstrate just how much you suck. As I like to live on the edge, yesterday in an undisclosed location, I choose not to heed the wisdom of the latter. Over several hands, Einhorn and I discussed the new edition of his 2008 book, “Fooling Some Of The People, All Of The Time.”
The latest version includes an epilogue, and concludes the story of Allied and Einhorn’s years of trying to get other people to listen when he said something was up. As we now know, Allied’s shares collapsed, Greenlight collected $35 million, and the hedge fund made another big (and correct) call on a bank called Lehman Brothers, whose failure was, according to Einhorn, “the Allied story all over again,” just on a bigger scale, with more resounding consequences. Even after the last crisis, which should have been a wake-up call, Einhorn doesn’t think we’ve changed much and if anything, the reforms passed only “encourage poor behavior and will likely foster an even bigger crisis.” He and I chatted about that exciting event, Quantitative Easing, Steve Eisman’s illicit pleasure of choice and more, plus poker tips for people who really, really need them.**
BL: You mentioned an unexpected and tremendous response from readers of the book the first time around. What’s the craziest piece of fan mail you’ve gotten- has anyone sent you their undergarments in the mail?
DE: [laughs] No, do you think they should?
DE: You’re hysterical.
BL: I mean, people do that. Musicians, rock stars get sent that sort of stuff. You’re like a rock star…of investing.
DE: Well, the thing is, my following [for the most part] is with 20 to 35 year old men. So, you know. I definitely don’t want their undergarments. Read more »
Earlier today French doctor Yves Benhamou was charged with passing on some hot info about Hepatitis C to an unnamed hedge fund, which didn’t seem to make any money off of the tip but avoided losing $30 million by a timely sale of six million shares of drug maker Human Genome Sciences. The fund was not named, but according to Matthew Goldstein at Reuters, it’s FrontPoint Partners, which has suspended a trader named Dr. Chip. Read more »
Earlier today we mentioned that FrontPoint Partners’ Steve Eisman has just about had it with Genworth Financial and told them as much on a conference call this morning in which he threatened to wage a proxy battle on their asses and throw management “out of here.” A clip has now been posted and the audio version is even better than reading in print (flashbacks to being yelled at by your father may ensue, particularly on the “DO NOT DO THAT” line). [Shareholder, Stevo enters around 38:14 and the juice is at 40:00]
Steve Eisman Tells Genworth Financial It’s “Overseen Massive Destruction Of Shareholder Value,” Threatens To Wage Proxy Battle On Conference Call, Throw Management “Out Of Here”By Bess Levin
Jazzy-Jeff style. Do not test him on this one.
Operator: Steven Eisman, FrontPoint.
Steven Eisman: Yes, hi. I think it is pretty clear this was a very poor quarter, but there are larger issues here that I think you need to address. Frankly, the only accomplishment that this management team can truly point to is the survival of this Company, which I don’t mean to minimize, but otherwise, this management team has overseen a massive destruction of shareholder value. In fact, at the current price to book, Genworth is selling at a steep discount to both MGIC and PMI, the pure play MIs and this is probably because this Company does not meet its cost of capital in any of its businesses. In other words, the market currently is ascribing negative value to your non-MI businesses. It’s a pretty astonishing statement and I don’t get any sense of urgency from this management team as to how this is all going to be addressed. I think going down the current road seems to me a complete waste of time.